The Real Eco Choice for Southwest Landscapes

Is the summer heat leaving you feeling a bit parched? Perhaps your landscaping is thirsty, too? If so, you’re not alone. People all over the southwestern United States are realizing that our traditional green lawn landscapes are more difficult and expensive to keep watered in hot, dry years like this one. So much so that cities are actually paying residents to rip-up their grass and replace it with climate-appropriate plants.

No matter where you stand on the aesthetics of the issue, the fact is that losing the lawn allows cities to reduce water consumption—amazingly, by up to a third—even while the population grows.… Read more >>

Volunteers Give Heart to Our Work

Volunteer Appreciation Celebration and Awards Ceremony at Coldwater Canyon Park

Trees need people. People need trees. And TreePeople counts on volunteers year-round. We appreciate the countless hours of hard work done by thousands of volunteers each year, but the value of volunteers to this organization goes far beyond the sweat hours put in every weekend. From friendly smiles to funny moments, and patient teachings to shared passions, volunteers give heart to our work.

On August 29, 60 dedicated volunteers came together for our Volunteer Appreciation Celebration and Awards Ceremony at Coldwater Canyon Park.… Read more >>

An Emerald Canopy Shades the Blacktop

Sheila Newmark

It is difficult to imagine what Hancock Park Elementary School, just two blocks from the busy intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Third Street, would look like without its luscious greenery. Tree canopies scattered throughout the grounds provide refuge from the sizzling blacktop and seem to uplift the vibrant little school from its urban environment. Tall surrounding buildings seem less oppressive as the arboreal shelter provides children with breaths of fresh air.

This is precisely the hopeful vision that TreePeople Citizen Forester  Sheila Newmark strove for when she decided to plant 88 trees at the school site in November of 1998.… Read more >>

Celebrating Innovators and Social Good

Liberty Hill Change L.A.

At TreePeople, we’re passionate about environmental justice. The vision of a greener and healthier Los Angeles created and enjoyed by everyone in our city is what spurs us on. So we’re delighted to be media partners with Liberty Hill, L.A.’s social justice foundation, for their September 8 event Change L.A., a party with a purpose.

This will be a lively gathering of more than 200 progressive donor-activists who share a commitment to environmental and social justice. Change L.A. will be celebrating two inspiring Angelenos: Shawn Landres of Jumpstart, an entrepreneur at the intersection of innovation and social good; and Tammy Bang Luu of Labor Community Strategy Center, a dynamic community organizer who also has been co-host of radio show “Voices from the Frontlines.”

The event takes place on Sunday, September 8 from 3:30 to 5:30 pm at Busby’s East on L.A.’s Miracle Mile. Tickets are $100 at www.libertyhill.org/changela.… Read more >>

They Feel at Home: Two Treepeople Summer Interns

Jessica Haren & Stephanie Nelson

Last week, I told the story of my journey from third grade TreeKid to TreePeople storytelling intern. This week, we’re going back to Yurt Village to hear the story of two more seasoned TreeLadies. Meet Jessica Haren and Stephanie Nelson—summer Landscape Design and Development interns, respectively.

Jessica, a Landscape Architecture student at UCLA Extension, works with TreePeople’s Sustainable Solutions Director Lisa Cahill to design learning gardens that students, parents and teachers can plant to green their schoolyards through TreePeople’s School Greening Initiative.… Read more >>

Abuzz About the Power of Parkways!

Up until recently, many Angelinos didn’t even know what a parkway was. Often called a planting strip, median, nature space or tree lawn—people were confused about what to call it, much less what to do with this section of our cityscape.

Now all that’s changed. One little LA Times column by Steve Lopez, lots of work from Los Angeles City Councilmember Herb Wesson, the dedication of groups like LA Green Grounds, the Urban Ag Working Group, Farmscape, the LA Garden Council, Root Down LA, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Hunger Action Los Angeles, the Wynbrandt Farm, Community Health Councils, St.… Read more >>

The Magic of That First Planting Day

Roger Klemm

At the now-verdant Hansen Dam Recreation Center in Sylmar, Roger Klemm approached “his” trees for the first time in nearly two decades since planting them. The sight of their tremendous growth brought a look of wonder to his face. Thirty-nine mature trees now thrive at the site of this TreePeople planting; they both accent the landscape with shade and enhance its biodiversity.

When he first visited the area many years ago, Roger was surprised at how bare the surrounding land seemed to be.… Read more >>

Head Up to the Mountains with TreePeople: Thirsty Seedlings Need Our Help

Photo by David Cassell

Seedlings are growing and thriving at Chilao Flats in the Angeles National Forest thanks to hundreds of TreePeople volunteers who planted them earlier this year. This is an important and beloved mountain area that was devastated by the 2009 Station Fire, and we’re helping bring the forest back for all who depend on it.

Volunteers are needed to give these young trees the water and mulch they need to survive the hot, dry summer. Sign-up for Angeles Forest Restoration on August 24.… Read more >>

A TreePeople Intern’s Deep Roots

Emma Schiffer - Young and Old

As a nearly lifelong Treeperson, I have responses for all the usual questions about my Treepeople volunteering. To the question, “So, you hug trees, right?” I answer, “Of course! But not as part of my work.” To the question, “So, you guys are people made of trees?” I respond, “You know ‘connecting with your roots’ is just an expression, right?”

I’ve had plenty of time to perfect these responses; I’ve been involved with Treepeople since I was nine. The road to my position this summer as a storytelling and photography management intern in Treepeople’s Yurt Village (“What’s a yurt?” I’m asked, “Is it an animal?”) started with a few bags of popcorn and a class full of chipper third graders.… Read more >>

Victoria Principal to the (Fire Prevention and Reforestation) Rescue!

principalBlog

Again, actress, activist and entrepreneur Victoria Principal comes to the rescue of Southern California’s forests. And again, it’s just in time. Although this week is unseasonably cool, the moment it gets hot again we’re in for some serious fire danger. In fact, Los Angeles County’s Fire Chief calls this summer and fall “probably the most volatile fire season that’s projected based on our 100-year history.”

Thankfully, doing our part is now as easy as sending a text message.

No, really. TreePeople has in place new mobile technology—funded by Ms.… Read more >>